What are the symptoms, how is it transmitted and is there any treatment?

How is polio diagnosed?

Along with a complete physical examination and medical history, doctors will do cultures of the throat and stool, and sometimes blood and cerebrospinal fluid levels looking for the polio virus.

How does polio spread?

The virus often spreads through contact with infected feces. This often happens due to poor hygiene, especially hand washing. It can also occur from eating or consuming contaminated food or water.

It can also be transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes contaminated air droplets.

Those who have the virus can pass the virus in their feces for several weeks. People are more contagious just before the onset of symptoms and immediately after onset.

Who got polio?

It is estimated that there are around 120,000 people in the United Kingdom who survived polio when they were younger.

Famous people suffering from polio include Mary Berry, the chef, Neil Young, the musician, Jone Mitchell, the singer and Donald Sutherland, the actor, Francis Ford Coppola, the director and David Stakey, the historian .

What is the treatment and can you recover from polio?

There is no specific treatment for people who become infected. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms by prescribing pain relief, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Patients are often advised to eat a special diet, engage in minimal activity, and use warm pads or heating pads for muscle aches.

Severe symptoms of paralysis may require mobility aids such as braces, sticks, and wheelchairs. Patients may also need respiratory assistance, such as extra oxygen or ventilator and physical or occupational therapy.

Some people who have recovered from a mild period develop post-polio syndrome, which can lead to persistent fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle contraction, and muscle and joint pain.

Where did polio come from?

Carved plaques from Ancient Egypt around 1500 BC show a priest with a withered leg using a cane, suggesting that polio has been around for thousands of years, but was first described in the medical literature by British physician Michael Underwood. in 1789.

The virus was never considered a major problem until the late 1800s when outbreaks began in industrial areas. The first major child outbreak occurred in Vermont, USA in 1894.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Europe and North America were looking for big cases during the summer, with parents being advised to keep children away from public places such as amusement parks, swimming pools and beaches.

Severe outbreaks are thought to be caused by improved hygiene that prevented young children from being exposed, leaving them at greater risk later in childhood.

When did Britain start vaccinating people against polio?

Major outbreaks in the 1940s and 1950s led to the acceleration of vaccination programs, and by 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk had developed the first polio vaccine.

It was immediately occupied by Britain and in 1961 the United Kingdom changed to an oral vaccine which often falls on the tongue or is placed in a sugar cube.

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